26 October 2009

"Hot" nuclear waste could still be shipped to Hanford under proposed settlement

Heart of America's Executive Director, Gerry Pollet, is quoted in Sunday's Oregonian article on the implications of the TPA Settlement & Consent Decree on off-site waste at Hanford! The bottom line is that the settlement does not address Hanford receiveing a certain type of highly radioactive waste called "Greater Than Class C". Pollet said, "the hottest waste that could be sent to Hanford is excluded" from the moratorium. "It's not a little oversight."

As part of the settlement, the partial moratorium on other types of off-site waste was supposed to be extended through 2019, when the Waste Treatment Plant is to be "hot-started." However, this extension was promised to be included as a preferred alternative in the draft Tank Closure & Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement, a copy of which we received near close of business on Friday afternoon. However, the preferred alternative in new draft environmental impact statement calls for burying radioactive and radioactive hazardous chemical wastes at Hanford from other USDOE nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor sites!

It is of utmost importance that the public make a strong showing at the upcoming hearings on this settlement, as the agencies will be accepting comments on the off-site waste issue. See our factsheet for more information, and plan on attending a hearing listed below. We hope to see you there!

  • Hood River, OR
    TONIGHT! 6pm pre-meeting workshop, hearing at 7pm
    Best Western - 1108 Marina Way
  • Portland, OR
    Tuesday, 10/27, 6pm pre-meeting workshop, hearing at 7pm
    Double Tree Hotel near Lloyd Center
  • Tri-Cities, WA
    Thursday, 10/29, 6pm open house, hearing at 7pm
    Richland Hampton Inn - 486 Bradley Blvd
  • Spokane, WA
    Monday, 11/9, 6pm pre-meeting workshop, hearing at 7pm
    Double Tree Hotel (City Center)
  • Seattle, WA
    Thursday, 11/12, 6pm pre-meeting workshop, hearing at 7pm
    Quality Inn (near Seattle Center)


  1. It is absurd that dumping more waste into Hanford is even being considered. There is no safe way to store the radioactive material already there. This waste would just contribute to the contaminated area, and further endanger the workers and citizens being exposed. First, we need to clean up the mess that was previously made before the situation gets any worse. Until a safe way is found to store these chemicals, Hanford should be left to it's own problems. Why spend billions of dollars cleaning something up if more waste is going back in its place?

  2. Lizzy,
    We at Heart of America agree! Please come out to a public meeting and say everything you've written on the record. We need to keep the pressure on the agencies to listen to the public and keep our River & our environment safe.

  3. Last night at the hearing in Portland, OR, USDOE announced that they are broadening the moratorium on off-site waste at Hanford to include Greater Than Class C (GTCC) wastes! This is a major organizing victory for Heart of America NW, and we couldn't have done it without Scott Learn's Oregonian article or the comments from the commited members of the public in Hood River on Monday night! I'll post an article on this soon!

  4. It's ridiculous how Washington state even agreed to this settlement, casually leaving out the part about the highest radioactive materials being excluded from this promise. There hardly would have been much progress in cleaning up if these GTCC wastes were being kept at Hanford. Way to go Heart of America!